Yep, $50 a bottle is a big ask, but these are extra special wines which deserve a big occasion, or at the very least, your undivided attention... here’s a little more on each of them...
Irvine Grand Merlot 2017: RRP $150 – Irvine’s Grand Merlot has twice won best Merlot in the world when competing with the best from Bordeaux. This edition carries the expected heady notes of purple fruit and prunes. The palate is layered and complex.
Pertaringa The Yeoman Shiraz 2017: RRP $250 - Only made from the best fruit in exceptional years. This is a very full-bodied wine, squid ink black in colour, its massive size held in check via supreme balance between the fruit, acidity and tannins. An amazingly profound drinking experience. If you are going to rip the lid off now, consider decanting for a few hours before drinking. Otherwise, cellar through to 2030, or 40 or 50.
Ca Botta Cerviero 2015: RRP $79 – Was voted wine of the night amongst a cohort that included wines at up to $250 retail per bottle. 8 wines on show and the Cerviero emerged the winner. This wine carries the IGT designation rather than the more favoured DOC or DOCG status. Why? Because this is a wine made using Amarone methods with primarily Amarone varieties and the inclusion of Cabernet which is not allowed in Amarone production. They add Cabernet to build freshness and change the tannin profile - to make something as good but a little different to a traditional Amarone. 2.2 kilos of fruit are needed to make just one bottle. We found cherries, raspberries, fig, caramel, spice and pepper here on a palate which is both concentrated and ethereal. A cracking wine and an absolute bargain.
Lienert Sieben Klon Shiraz 2019: RRP $50 – The Lienert’s have been farming in the Barossa for 150 years and decided to add some vines to their property about 20 years ago. The first fruit from 2004 and 2005 vintages went straight to the pool room, aka into Penfold’s St Henri. Funnily enough, they then planted a lot more vines and introduced many more clonal variations of Shiraz. When they decided to start making booze, we conspired with them to come up with a wine from the best parcels of their best seven clonal selections of Shiraz. The intention – to make a wine that is floral and beguiling on the nose, densely fruited on the palate, long, complex and bloody awesome. For this very special wine, each clone was harvested and fermented separately with the harvest date chosen to show each clone off to best advantage. For example, the VOS12 (Eden Valley clone) was harvested earlier than the others to allow for a beautiful perfume and liveliness in the final wine. Fermentation is done in tiny open-top fermenters which are hand plunged up to four times a day. Certain clones are fermented cooler to better express delicate aromatics whilst some are plunged and pumped over to achieve a more structural element. The trick is finding the right balance. Anyways, we love this wine and encourage you to give it a rip.
Kilikanoon Meymans Shiraz 2019: RRP $45 – Intense and velvety black and blue fruit here, along with loose leaf black tea and spices. The acid is fantastic, playing the perfect underscore to the fruit and giving this wine excellent lift and length. Tannins are fine and firm. Superb to drink now and for the next decade
Manser Family Block 4 Shiraz 2018: RRP $55 – The Manser's best vines produce rich, ripe, black fruit with superb intensity. This release is powerful and packs a punch. There’s spicy black and blue fruits on the nose with a curious hint of mintiness to boot. The palate is full-bodied supported by a backbone of fine, powdery tannins with a long, rich finish. Decant for an hour or two or cellar for up to 10-15 years.